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HRB-funded research shows early parenting programme significantly increases parental competence and wellbeing

The research, funded by the Health Research Board, found that the parents who received the programme became more confident and more satisfied in their role and adopted more sensitive and proactive styles and skills when managing their young infants. These benefits were also sustained after two years.

The ENRICH programme involved a five-year investigation of a new service called the Upto2/Parent and Baby Programme which combines many different health and education-related parenting supports and was delivered to almost 400 parents and their 0-2 year old children in West Dublin and Louth.

Darrin Morrissey, Chief Executive at the HRB commented,

'Results like this clearly demonstrate the value that health research has for people at all stages of life. The HRB is committed to supporting new research and evidence that improves people’s health and informs health policy and practice'. 

Parent satisfaction with the programme was very high. For example, parents said they became more responsive and attuned to their infants’ emotional needs during what many mothers described as a challenging time. 

The research also explored in detail how the programme was delivered, and this involved inputs from over 60 participating stakeholders.

Speaking at today’s launch Principal Investigator and Founder Director of the Centre for Mental Health and Community Research at Maynooth University, Professor Sinéad McGilloway said:

'Through the ENRICH research, we have investigated a new approach to service provision, tailored to work with existing family health and social services, and which delivers measurable and tangible benefits to parents and their children in the first two years of life.

'We have also gathered detailed learning on what is needed to ensure that additional ‘wraparound’ programmes can be delivered successfully by both statutory and voluntary organisations who collaborated closely in designing and delivering this new programme'.

Download and read the full press release (PDF document 76kB) here.

Information about the ENRICH research project is available at: